Last weekend I had the privilege, not only to attend but to present, at the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons annual meeting. I presented a study that was a collaboration between Chicago Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and Colorado Joint Replacement out of Denver Colorado. In short, we found that the way we describe knee replacements that require revision for loosening, infection, or failure is lacking in our current literature.
As the saying goes, "you can't manage what you can't measure". We found that there is certainly an opportunity to better measure failure of knee replacements. This is the beginning of further research to develop a system in which we can not only more reliably measure failures in knee replacement, but also to devise a prescriptive system to afford surgeons more accurate insight as to how to tackle these difficult cases.
As a team of fellowship-trained hip and knee surgeons, my co-authors and I often take on these sorts of cases. They require planning, an interdisciplinary approach, and are complicated both before surgery and in the operating room.
When done well, these cases are very rewarding and can provide pain relief and restoration of function to suffering patients!
Vasili Karas MD, MS
Chicago Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine